Direct Debits


ADDACS (Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation Service)
The service allowing banks/building societies to advise Direct Debit Service Users via BACS of any amendments to, or cancellations of, Direct Debit Instructions.

Advanced Notice
Notice that must be given, under the Scheme rules, to customers advising of each payment before it leaves their account. By default, the amount of advance notice required is 10 working days.

ARUDD (Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits Service)
Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits messages notify Service Users of any unpaid Direct Debits.

AUDDIS (Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service)
The AUDDIS Service, through which all new direct Service Users must now submit requests to BACS. AUDDIS messages notify Service Users of issues setting up or cancelling a Direct Debit Instruction.


BACS Payment Schemes Limited (BACS), previously known as Bankers' Automated Clearing System, is responsible for the clearing and settlement of UK automated direct debit and BACS Direct Credit. All Direct Debit communications in the UK go through the BACS service.

BACS three-day cycle
All Direct Debit processes operate using the BACS three day cycle. Used since the 1970’s, the cycle specifies the timescales on which banks must respond to input from each other. Typically a ‘submission’ is made on first with the payment request sent to BACS between 7am and 10:30pm. BACS then forward the request to the relevant parties overnight. The next step is for the relevant parties to respond and get ready to ‘process’ the request. For example, the payees bank would prepare to debit the account. The final step (unless there is a payment failure) is for the relevant parties to ‘action’ the request. Here, the payees bank would be debited and the business bank would credited.

Bacstel-IP (software
The secure (internet) service provided by BACS for communications between Service Users and BACS.

Bulk Change Process
The rules and processes a Service User must follow when applying bulk amendments to Direct Debit Instructions, already held with paying banks, in respect of a change of name, legal status, Service User Number (SUN) or service user reference.

An approved organisation that submits Direct Debit requests to BACS on behalf of a 3rd party.


Confirmation Letter/Email
A confirmation issued to the Payer showing the details they used to sign up to Direct Debit.

Counter-Claim (indemnity dispute)
The claim raised by a Service User to dispute an indemnity claim from a customer. Counter claims must be made within 14 days of an indemnity claim being settled.


Direct Credit
The service offered by BACS that allows originators to pay money directly into a destination account. This is often used for regular payments such as salary or benefit payments, but can also be used on an ad hoc basis.

Direct Debit
The collection of an agreed amount from a bank/building society account by a service user, on request. The amounts and dates may vary from payment to payment, using the BACS service in the UK.

Direct Debit Guarantee
The Guarantee offered by paying banks to payers in respect of the Direct Debit Scheme specifying the rights and safeguards of payers.

The Direct Debit Guarantee applies to all Direct Debits. It protects you in the rare event that there is an error in the payment of your Direct Debit, for instance if a payment is taken on the incorrect date, or the wrong amount is collected.

The Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.

If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.

If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.

If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when the organisation asks you to.

You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify the organisation.

Direct Debit Indemnity Claim (DDIC)
Claim made by the paying bank in respect of an incorrect Direct Debit being applied to an account.

Direct Debit Indemnity Claim notifies Service Users of indemnity claims from their customers.

Direct Debit Instruction (DDI)
An authorisation from your customer to collect future payments automatically. To set up a DDI your customers must complete a standardised form, known as a mandate.

Direct Debit Mandate
Another name for a DDI. A paper form that customers must complete to authorise a Direct Debit Instruction.

Dormancy period
The time after which a bank/building society will remove details of a DDI from a payer’s account if no collections have been made in that time. The period is normally 13 months and is recorded against a Direct Debit Service User Number (SUN) on the service user’s database.

Due Date
The date a payment is due to be debited from a payer's account.



Facilities Management (FM Bureau)
A service provided by a Bureau in which they submit payments to BACS on behalf of a merchant under a Service User Number attached to a bank account that is owned by the FM bureau.




Indemnity Claim
Under the Direct Debit Scheme Rules paying payment service providers (PSPs) are required to refund a payer in the event of an error under the Direct Debit Guarantee. Depending upon the error the indemnity claim process may be used. Claims are assessed by the Payer's bank and funds are then recouped from the Service User automatically.

Input File
A standardised format file which is submitted to BACS by the merchant to log new Direct Debit Instruction and payment requests.

Input Report
Every time a Service User submits payments or DDIs to Bacs, they receive an Input Report summarising the submission.





Modulus Check
An arithmetic process to determine if there is a valid link between a sort code and an account number range.



Originator Identification Number (OIN)
Now known as a Service User Number (SUN). A unique six-digit number allocated to a service user to enable identification with Bacs.


Paper Mandate
Another name for a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI), where the customer signs a traditional paper mandate or PDF.

Paperless Mandate
Authorising a Direct Debit Instruction online or on the phone, instead of with a paper form.

Paying Bank
The bank or building society at which a customer’s DDI is lodged, for example, your customer’s bank.



A Direct Debit that has been returned unpaid to the originator, being resubmitted for collection.


SEPA (Single European Payments Area.) Direct Debit
A single Direct Debit Scheme which applies across the whole Single European Payments Area.

Service User
An organisation approved by a sponsor bank to submit Direct Debit requests to BACS. For example, your business.

Service User Number (SUN)
A unique 6-digit identifier issued to every Service User.

Sponsor Bank
A bank that enables you to access the Direct Debit Scheme and provides you with a Service User Number.



Unpaid Direct Debit
A Direct Debit that is returned to the service user as the funds could not be collected from the destination account, due to for example, insufficient funds, or no DDI set up on the account. Also see ARUDD above.



Working Days
Submissions to BACS can only occur on working days, which exclude weekends and bank holidays.




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